Tesco PriceChecks itself out of the market

One-nil to Asda, as Tesco is forced to admit its 'double your saving' price guarantee was, well, a little too good to be true...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
It’s become de rigeur among warring supermarkets to promise customers who defect to them a little sweetener in return for their (dis)loyalty. At Tesco, that takes the form of PriceCheck, the premise of which is that the supermarket is so confident it’s cheaper than its arch-rival, if customers manage to discover some rogue product at that’s cheaper at Asda, it’ll refund double the difference. Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is: Tesco has admitted that some of its customers aren’t using the PriceCheck feature quite in the spirit in which it was intended, so it’s had to impose a £20 cap on refunds. That’s got to hurt.

According to a red-faced Tesco, hundreds of customers have been claiming money back. In fact, advice on how to take advantage of the offer has appeared on bulletin boards all over the web: one particularly helpful post suggested that if you buy two bottles of Chardonnay, two bottles of Magners Pear Cider, two bottles of Nivea moisturiser, and a pack of cheddar, you could end up getting £41.96 back, as well as scoring yourself from pretty funny looks at the checkout.

Tesco attempted to salvage some semblance of dignity by pointing out that ‘fewer than one in 5,000’ customers has claimed more than £20. To add insult to injury, Asda has (naturally) been more than a little smug about the situation. ‘If you claim to be the cheapest, call me old fashioned, but it helps to really be the cheapest,’ pointed out a spokesman, perhaps more triumphantly than was entirely necessary.

Still, good to see that the ongoing price war between two of the UK’s largest plcs it alive and well. After all, who needs EastEnders when Tesco and Asda are squabbling like the Mitchell brothers?

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